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'Doofus' Fizdale and Porzingis on same page now

Devdiscourse News Desk Last Updated at 10-11-2018 13:21:59 IST United States

New York Knicks coach David Fizdale said Thursday he didn't think 23-year-old forward-center Kristaps Porzingis was that far along on his recovery from ACL surgery, just doing some shooting and light running, but Porzingis seemed to refute that quickly, posting photos of him sprinting on an outdoor track.

Why the differences in opinion?

"I'm the only doofus that didn't know he had went out to the track," Fizdale said after practice Friday. "Like I said, part of it is because I'm just locked into (coaching the team)."

Porzingis, 23, injured his knee in February and missed the remainder of last season. The team has been steadfast about not rushing him back and on Thursday, Fizdale said the team hadn't seen much progress recently.

The Knicks have opened the season 4-8 and sport the youngest roster in the NBA.

In October, the team declined to offer a contract extension for Porzingis in order to free up an expected $10 million to pursue free agents next summer.

Porzingis will be a restricted free agent then and the Knicks are projected to have just a little more than $30 million available under the salary cap, enough to lure a max value contract in free agency.

"I'm hungry," Porzingis said at the team's media day before the season. "I want to be on the court as soon as possible. It's good that I have a good team around me, holding me back when I need to be held back, telling me I need to be patient. It's a long process, already 7 1/2 months.

"I'm getting itchy. But it won't happen until I am 110 percent and medically cleared."

The 7-foot-3 Latvian wouldn't rule out missing the entire season, offering only "it's hard to say," when asked about the possibility.

In 48 games last season, Porzingis averaged 22.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Entering his fourth season, he has career averages of 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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